I do not own any of the properties used in my stories.
The thick, metal, bulletproof door that had been keeping the prisoner lay on one hinge, dangling slightly. The wall behind it was cracked and dented from where the door had thrashed against it. The thick metal walls without any lights or windows were blown apart to rubble. This was the same for all of the cells on the floor, though these cells were nothing but glass. All fifty highly fortified, indestructible and and bullet-proof glass cells were destroyed, leaving nothing but the empty metal frames. All of the destruction had come from that one quiet cell where the prisoner had left no trace of himself except for a trail of blood drops. The lights hanging from the ceiling were either flickering or shattered to pieces across the floor.
The only people people that stood in this destroyed hallway were three scientists and twenty armoured SWAT troopers, sifting through the rubble and glass to see if there were any prisoners left.
But there was no one. Every last prisoner had gone.
The first scientist was lanky, tall, with thick rimmed glasses. He was shaking as he examined the huge door of the cell at the end of the hall.
"This all happened in a matter of seconds. The security caught the footage... or what's left of the footage,"
"And?" the second scientist said. She was not looking at the heaviest protected cell, rather down the hallway at the wreckage before her. She appeared to be in charge with puffy white hair around her neck, a plump form, and square silver glasses. Her face was wrinkled.
"Well," the third scientist said. He had dark skin and a shaved head. "The footage saw this door open, slam really, and then one by one...the cells burst apart as if overflowing with water. The next footage is fuzzy, the cameras were cracked, but he lumbered out and cut his feet on the glass.
That's why there's blood, see?"
The second scientist sniggered. "A regular John McClane,"
"I highly doubt that John McClane walks on broken glass anymore, ma'am," the first scientist said with a smile. He pushed the heavy door back and forth timidly. "There's no point in following the blood anyhow, they disappear at about the third hallway. He stole all his stuff back and then-" The scientist snapped his fingers. "Vanished in thin air, I imagine."
"Boy, I hate it when he does that," the third scientist shuddered. "What made him do this? His mind was excruciatingly disciplined. Four months here and his expression hardly wavered."
"The exterior is highly misleading, Caster," the second doctor whispered. "He was an expert at masking his interiors. I do suppose we suppressed his powers for too long but-" She shrugged. "That was a minor setback. It was the only way to study him. I had never seen someone like him in all of Charactia."
"He wasn't an animal," the third scientist named Caster said stiffly.
"He wasn't Human either," the second scientist snapped, turning and kicking some glass with a high-heeled foot. "I think you've forgotten that no one in this lab was Human. Well? What do you think? Do you think the shifter had something to do with it?"
Caster and the bespectacled doctor exchanged glances.
"Which one?" the bespectacled man asked awkwardly. "We had about thirty of them."
"Who do you think, Julius? The one who sat in the cell watching that same video over and over! The one who kept muttering on and on about Italian wines, trying to master a British accent!" the second scientist cried.
"It was actually a-" Julius started but was cut off.
"Convinced he could be someone else...such body insecurity is highly blameable," The woman sighed and turned around. "Still. He was advanced for his kind. To match a man so perfectly. To use such perfect manipulation, shifting others to do what he wanted. The others as well. They did as their leader did."
"Not to his extent though," Caster said. "They seemed to have a line between their role and themselves. Their leader... It was as if he was trying to be insane."
"If he wasn't insane, he is now," Julius shuddered. "The same with the Prize. He's mad, I'm telling you. The second he woke up from the Carbonite...something about him..."
"Good news for us," the woman clapped her hands together. "He'll be disoriented from the Carbonite sickness and his powers will be unstable for a while."
Julius cleared his throat. "Er, ma'am. I think it would be best if we focused on catching the others. Wouldn't it be better if we just...let the Prize go? He was never cooperative and he's a tad- a tad- well-" He gestured towards the padded cell behind him. "You know. I remember giving him food... you know what he can do. Those cold, black eyes like tunnels...boring into my brain. You look in his eye and he can see everything in your head! He can tell you what you had for breakfast two days before! He knew everything about me and never spoke a word!"
"Which is why I ordered you not to look into his eyes!"
"Ma'm, it wasn't easy," Caster said earnestly.
"Admit it, you looked at him every once in a while. Those eyes were easy to avoid, as he kept them on you every second he got."
"He was a...a freak," Julius hissed with nasty distaste.
The female scientist put a finger to her lips. "Speak that word and he'd send you all the way to Tatooine. You remember how much our good friend despised that word. He may not be here but you'd do well to remember that he is dangerous. Which is why we must get him back."
Caster stepped forward. "What about the others? The woman! The sister of the most famous detective ever and those statues that move when you blink! They're all out there and-"
"Only the Prize matters," the female scientist said in a distant voice. "He is the only one we need.
And Charactia has its precious Doctor and we'll let the brother detective handle his sister. He did once before."
"You're upset because you couldn't capture the Doctor," Julius sneered. The female scientist spun around, scowling.
"My specimen is the only thing that matters! There's still so much he could do for us! He may be dangerous but he is our weapon into the secret dimension, just as my brother's specimen was. But, oh, my specimen triumphs over his! My specimen doesn't leak blood from the holes in his face when he uses his powers! My specimen will not escape and never be caught again!"
"He's more ferocious than you're willing to admit!" Julius cried. "Both he and the shapeshifter are too dangerous for society and if the shapeshifter did something to release the Prize-"
The female scientists' fists were clenched in frustration. "The shifter went on and on about wanting to meet the FBI!" she spat. "He's THEIR problem now! As for my Prize, he is not prepared for the outside world. He will be confused and disoriented, but he knows too much and will surely exploit us. He'll come back sooner or later when he learns that we can take him home."
She turned and called for three SWAT troopers. "I want an outer scan of the lab. Use the blood collected to find him," The troopers nodded and jogged away.
"He and the others are long gone. And how are you gonna track those aliens that look like salt-shakers-" Caster asked.
The woman turned and put another finger to her lips.
"I don't care. That half-blood belongs to me. I don't care if he frightens you. I don't care if he can make you bleed by saying one word, that he can flick his wrist and make you immobile. I want him here, I want him alive. And I want him back in his quiet cell,"
Caster and Julius muttered a simultaneous "Yes, ma'm," after exchanging raised eyebrows. They turned to see their boss give them a sickly sort of smile and turn, striding down the hall, glass crinkling under her heels, humming a song by the Clash. The lights flickered violently against her dark form.
The two scientists looked behind them at the empty quiet cell, staring into its dark room with white padded walls and no lights. They shuddered and stepped away from it.
Because, for a split second, they had both seen the Prize huddled in a corner...his black eyes peering through a curtain of greasy, black hair, emotionless, weird, and absolutely freakish.